Our Story, ...and we're sticking to it!
"Big" Jim Adam
Jim grew up in a small town in southeast Kansas, and while everyone else his age was listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Jim was listening to Lightnin' Hopkins, Jimmy Reed and Son House. He started playing blues clubs at the advanced age of 13, and these legendary blues figures, along with artists like Sam and Dave and Wilson Pickett, became great influences on both his vocal and guitar style.
His family attended a small Baptist church, and Jim had the opportunity to merge these blues influences with gospel music, which draws strongly from the blues tradition. He led and performed gospel music and sang, along with his four brothers, in churches throughout the surrounding area.
Jim took a four year break from music while he served in the United States Marine Corps, but says "he still had the blues." After his military service, Jim and his family relocated to Southern California. There he picked up his guitar again and made his living as a musician, performing the blues throughout L.A. and Orange County. He also was in demand as a studio vocalist.
As a songwriter Jim has several film credits and a couple of songs cut by Edgar Winter. His credits include the film, "The Waterdance", which starred Wesley Snipes, Eric Stoltz and Helen Hunt, in which both his song and performance were used.
Jim’s voice and guitar playing can also be heard throughout the critically acclaimed 2010 PBS Documentary “For Love of Liberty”.
Jim eventually moved with his family to Colorado Springs during which time he quickly became a prominent figure on the regional blues scene. While running his own acoustic music venue for several years, Jim also built up and mantained a heavy gigging and festival schedule.
Big Jim (along with his duo partner John Stilwagen) were finalists in the 2011 International Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Category.
Quote from Chick Cavallero (Colorado Blues Society), "they filled the room with more energy and sound than any two guys should be able to pull off. Sitting tall in his chair, Big Jim accompanied his honeyed voice on guitar and two unique wood boxes under his feet that he stomped on to get a drum beat and even some tambourine rattling from. John Stilwagen rounded out their set with his impressive keyboard skills and a lot of humor. These guys are a class act you need to see and become familiar with!"
Before leaving Colorado, Jim also won the 2012 Telluride Acoustic Blues Solo Competition.
“Contest winner Jim Adam gave us some of the best and most authentic blues I have heard in a while. This man definitely deserved winning the Acoustic Blues competition” – listenupDenver.com
In July of 2013, Big Jim relocated to the sunny state of Florida and was promptly selected by the Blues Alliance of the Treasure Coast to represent them in the 2014 International Blues Challenge in the Solo/Duo Category.
"Jim’s emotional singing, sliding swampy guitar with that right hand thumping bass, combined with his stomp box and foot tambourine make for a powerful performance."
Steve hails from Columbus, Ohio. He came to the Brevard County, Florida area in 1965, when his folks were transferred there, so Dad could work on the rockets at Kennedy Space Center. He has lived there ever since!
Steve started playing guitar in the late 60’s, and has kept on playing since! After learning basic acoustic guitar, he heard the likes of Leo Kotke, and he went on to learn slide (bottleneck-style) guitar, ...then while working at Disneyworld in the mid-70's, he became acquainted with Nelson Young and the Sandy Valley Boys (a Bluegrass band which played in Frontierland), and was encouraged to try the Dobro steel guitar. He's kept playing the Dobro since!
After a few years, Steve went electric! He's taken his guitar, and Dobro, and plugged them in! Nowadays, you can hear him play mostly electric finger-style guitar, and bottleneck slide guitar, and the electric lap steel guitar. To him, ...there's something about the sound, and tone of an electric guitar that you just can't get on an acoustic, ...but every now, and again, you can hear him jam with friends on the old acoustics!
Playing in miscellaneous bands in the area throughout the years, Steve’s been on many of the local stages! While Steve has been onstage, he’s had a chance to perform on the same stage as Roy Bookbinder, Keb’ Mo, John Mayall, Tommy Talton, Michelle Shocked, “Pinetop” Perkins, Charmaine Neville, FREEBO, “Lucky” Peterson, and Johnny Clyde Copland, and “Lazy” Lester.
He is always in demand to do some slide/dobro /lap steel work for other local musicians, as his talent is his ability to embellish the music to make it the best it can be!
Steve helped on an album by his friends Bill & Eli Perras, which was reviewed by Sing Out Magazine (Vol. 52 No.1 - Spring 2008) saying:
Throughout, the duo is assisted by a collective of musicians they call the Florida Acoustic Segue Orchestra, playing stand-up bass, piano, banjo, percussion and slide. Of the performers, I was driven most to the slide work of Steve Rinker. His Dobro solo on “Housewife” is sweet and soulful with just enough sass, and his riffing with electric (lap steel?) slide on “Florida Blues” and “Paid Your Dues” really caught my ear. Great tone and sustain in all the right places.